Hunting Season Begins in Trego County’s Smoky Valley

The 2019-2020 hunting season has finally begun and hunters are arriving in Trego County to find upland birds and deer. The numbers are good this year, promising hunters an exciting season of pheasant, quail, prairie chicken, and deer hunting.

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Upland Birds

Pheasant hunters will find fair to good opportunities throughout the Smoky Valley region when the season kicks off on November 9th. Spring surveys found a slight decrease in crows following an earlier decrease in the number of broods, but numbers continue to remain above average overall. Regional harvest estimates were highest in the Smoky Hills, which experienced the larger than typical estimates last year, as well. The state is experiencing the highest roadside densities in its western regions.

Quail hunting season has just begun and prospects are good across the region despite a slight decline reported in the 2019 spring survey when compared to last year. The above average numbers follow an exceptionally bountiful year in 2018, where our region boasted the highest regional harvest in the state with good hunter success rates. This 2019 decrease is being buoyed by a 46% increase observed on roadside surveys.

Prairie chicken season is well underway and hunting opportunities are expected to be good. Spring counts were good, even while production rates were low. Along with our high densities, the Smoky Valley offers the best access to prairie chicken in the state. There are large areas of native rangeland intermixed with CRP and cropland.

Waterfowl hunting has begun and we are finding plenty of game along the banks of Cedar Bluff. Mallard, Pintail, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, and Diver ducks number 7,000 to 8,000 and Canadian Geese were surveyed at 800, while Snows and Whitefronts number  around 100. This allows for good expectations for hunting expeditions, with morning hunts providing the best opportunity for a successful outing.

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Image by: YathinS Krishnappa

 Mule and Whitetail deer can be found within our county, with mule deer being the more plentiful. Levi Jaster, Big-game Program Coordinator for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, reports that whitetail populations are stable and may be slightly increasing. Mule deer numbers are stable, and both species have stable buck-to-doe and yearling buck-to-adult ratios. Watch for new areas for hunting deer to open up as the excessive summer rain we’ve received may change the areas that deer tend to populate.

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Image courtesy of Jake and Chet’s Cafe.

Get Ready for the Hunt with a Meal at WaKeeney’s Many Fine Restaurants

End your day out at one of WaKeeney’s many delicious restaurants, where you’ll find great steaks, baked goods, burgers, and beer.

Casual Dining

Start your day at Hometown Bakery. Get there early to enjoy a freshly made cinnamon roll and fresh brewed coffee while you check your email on their free WiFi. (215 N Main St. /ph. 785.743.6494)

The Brazen Bull offers delicious steaks, burgers, sandwiches and salads and beer in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. They’re open Monday thru Saturday for lunch and dinner and feature mouth-watering specials every day. (717 S 2nd St./ph. 785-743-2653)

Enjoy the western ambiance and great food found at the Western Kansas Saloon & Grill. Housed in one of our county’s oldest buildings, the “Saloon” offers steak, pasta, burgers, salads, and sandwiches and a fully stocked bar inside a western-inspired building. (121 N Main St./785-743-2050)

Satisfy your spicy cravings at Tropical Mexican Restaurant. They have all your favorite Mexican dishes, plus beer and margaritas to will satisfy that “South of the Border” craving.  (428 S 1st St./ph. 785-743-2219)

Mike’s Place is a fun pub where people can kick back while they enjoy a cold beer and pub grub over a game of pool in Mike’s game room. Their menu is full of regular daily specials that feature local favorites and they always have ice-cold beer on tap and ready for their guests. (111 N 6th St./785-743-2641)

Jake and Chet’s Cafe and the Sundowner Lounge are open all day to fill you up from breakfast to a late-night appetizer over drinks. Rib eyes cooked to order, southern fried catfish, or an all-American burger followed by a slice of pie a la mode is sure to satisfy you after a long day out in the field. (233 S 1st St./ph. 785-743-2211)

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Image courtesy of the WaKeeney McDonalds.

Fast Food

The Dairy Queen offers a classic menu with salads, wraps, sandwiches, hot dogs and burgers. Pair your meal with a shake, malt, or a Blizzard for a cool treat. (521 Barclay Avenue/ph. 785-743-2160)

McDonalds is everyone’s “go to” place for a quick, satisfying meal. In WaKeeney, the drive thru window makes it a quick stop, or you can get out and stretch your legs inside in their dining room. (745 S 1st St./ph. 785-743-2911)

Planning a long day out? Stop by WaKeeney’s Subway as you head out of town and pick up a custom-made, foot-long sandwich to enjoy later when those hunger pains kick in. (718 S 1st St./ph. 785-743-5248)

Call in an order at WaKeeney’s Pizza Hut on your way into town and pick up a fresh-from-the-oven pizza to take back to your hotel. They can also deliver right to your lodging, and you’ll want to ask about their weekly buffet and many specials, too! (324 S 1st/ph. 785-743-2383 – Call ahead to find out when their buffet is running!)

Halloween Goodies in Downtown WaKeeney

Halloween is a treat in Downtown WaKeeney! This year there are even more scary-fun things to do for all ages and spirits, so hop on your broom and get yourself to WaKeeney this Halloween!

 

Halloween Arts & Crafts at The Studio 128 (Throughout the month)

The crafty witches and wizards at The Studio 128 have been busy with a month full of Halloween projects. Painting, crafting, and pumpkin decorating have been on the agenda, with more to come. Owner Lynelle Shubert has many ideas for fun Halloween décor at her art studio. For more information on what’s to come contact The Studio 128 at 785.814.7170.

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Trego Grade School Halloween Parade (Thursday, October 31st)

Pint-sized ghouls descend on Trego Grade School on Halloween. Grades pre-k to 5th will be celebrating the holiday with a parade though the school gym at 2:10pm. Parents and the public are invited to watch from the stands as the kids show off their scariest looks. Call the Trego Grade School (785.743.2472) for more information.

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Halloween Festivities in Downtown WaKeeney(Thursday, October 31st)

The werewolves will be howling down Main St. as our scary residents fill Downtown WaKeeney for the Annual Halloween Festival. The free public event begins at 4:30pm on Main and Russell, with businesses handing out candy to Trick or Treaters.

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At 5:15pm there will be costume contests for 0 to pre-k, k to 5th grade, and 6th grade and up for Best Overall Costume, Scariest Costume, and Most Original Costume. The festival includes TCHS social clubs overseeing games on the Courthouse lawn and at 5:30pm the Trego Rec Center will be hosting a free hot dog feed for everyone. Call the Trego Recreation Commission at 785.743.2595 for more information about these events.

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The Studio’s 128’s Murder Mystery Dinner (Saturday, November 2nd)

The “Murder Mystery Dinner,” an interactive event, is backand better than ever! This year the harrowing hosts at The Studio 128 will be offering a frightfully fun dinner with mock intestines, “eyeball” salad, a meatloaf created severed hand, along with other fun and delicious dishes. The mystery will occur throughout the event, with the murderer and victim being chosen at the beginning of the evening and prizes for the person who solves the mystery, best costume, best character, and best actor/actress given out at the end of the event. Come in costume and find out “who dun it!” (There are only twenty-five seats available, so call The Studio 128 at 785.814.7170 to reserve your seat today.)

Stir up a cauldron of fun in WaKeeney this Halloween! There will be fun and frights throughout the night on October 31st.

 

Hunters Get Ready for the 2019-2020 Season in Trego County

The 2019-2020 hunting season is nearly upon us and Trego County is one of the best places to bag your limit of upland birds, and deer species.

The Smoky Hill region has a combined 438, 512 acres of public and Walk-in Hunting Access (WIHA) land that are available to hunters. These acres are full of pheasant, quail, turkey and mule and white-tail deer, making Trego County a hunter’s paradise. There are several businesses that cater to hunters, with guides, outfitters, and accommodations to suit every need.

Down North Outfitters

Rely on the life experience of Brandon and Brett Hille of Down North Outfitters to outfit and guide your hunt. The brother’s 4500-acre ranch has been their playground since they were kids, making them experts on the best places to find game. They’ll help you flush outwhitetail and mule deer from creek bottoms and fowl from the tall grass prairie.

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Down North Outfitters offer both guided and semi-guided hunts, and can help you with licensing and permits. Their land is located in southern Trego County along the Smoky Hill River.

For more information check the Down North Outfitters website: www.downnorthoutfitters.com or email them at downnorthoutfitters@gmail.com.

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Book Your Stay in Trego County Today!

Book your hunting trip in Trego County! With nine lodges, hotels, and B & Bs throughout our county, you’ll find a comfortable place to rest after a day out in the fields.

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Butterfield Trail Bunkhouse is a rustic guesthouse near Cedar Bluff State Park where hunting opportunities are just outside the door. It is located 14-miles south of WaKeeney on a working ranch and near natural gathering places for wildlife.

The bunkhouse accommodates up to four people and there is a fully stocked kitchen and a cleaning station available to prepare your pheasants for the trip home. Don’t forget to pre-order your home cooked meals when you book your stay if you don’t want to cook during your trip.

23033 T Road
WaKeeney, KS 67672

Phone: 785.769.3194
Email: wddeines@ruraltel.net

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The Country Barn Loft B & B is located only a few miles north of Cedar Bluff State Park and Reservoir and offers a truly unique lodging experience in this 1951 historic barn.

The repurposed barn wood used on the arched ceilings and walls and a barn style interior door gives this B & B an upscale country look. There are eight beds and a kitchenette inside this peaceful lodge, and skylights upstairs keep the loft bright throughout the day. A homemade breakfast is delivered hot to your door every morning and there is also onsite boarding available for your dogs.

19065 28th Ave.
WaKeeney, KS 67672

Phone: 785.743.5662
Email: jpwhite@ruraltel.net

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The Collyer Hunting Lodge and Family Getaway is a comfortable country home specially designed for hunters. It is located one mile off I-70 and ideal for large hunting parties.

It can accommodate up to twelve hunters and features a full kitchen, Direct TV & free WiFi, and onsite laundry facilities. Well-behaved dogs are welcome in this newly renovated home.

704 Ainslie Avenue
Collyer, KS 67631

Phone: 530.933.8229
Email: coloradorachel@outlook.com

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Cottage Garden Air B & B is an historic 1906 guest house located in the heart of Downtown WaKeeney where you can find everything you need to get you out on the hunt.

The cottage has two bedrooms and accommodates 8 people, a bath and a shower, a fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities, air conditioning, free WiFi, and a smart TV. Enjoy the evening relaxing in the cozy sunroom.

510 Warren Avenue
WaKeeney, KS 67672

Phone: 785.743.2644
Email: wildflowermary@yahoo.com

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The WaKeeney KOA (open until November 15) is a great option for hunters who prefer to bed down in their camper during their hunting trip. Pull thru RV sites are spacious and can accommodate all types and sizes, without requiring you to unhook.

Sites include access to 50/30 amp or 30 amp electric, water, sewer, cable TV and grass to relax on. Grass tent sites are large and private with access to electricity and water nearby. Cabins are also available for those who want to camp without a RV or tent and are located near the restroom and shower facilities. The restroom, shower and laundry room facilities are open 24 hours for your convenience and Wi-Fi is accessible throughout the park.

25027 South Interstate
WaKeeney, KS 67672

Phone: 785.743.5612
Email: wakeeneykoa@eaglecom.net

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The Best Western Plus WaKeeney Inn & Suites offers luxury and a complimentary full breakfast for weary hunters. This is a great option for guests who need business services during their stay.

Suites are equipped with free WiFi, dataports, and coffee and tea makers. Their indoor pool offers a nice way to cool off after a day out and their 24-hour front desk will help you with anything you may need during your stay. Even early morning wake-up calls so you won’t miss the best time to hunt!

525 South 1st Street
WaKeeney, KS 67672

Phone: 785.743.2700
Email: bwwakeeney@hotmail.com

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The Kansas Kountry Inn is a vintage roadside motel. If you need to relax in the evening and get a good night’s rest, this is the motel for you!

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Located next to Jake and Chet’s restaurant and the Sundowner Lounge, it’s a clean, comfortable place to set up camp throughout your stay. It provides the basics and is only a few blocks north of I-70.

223 S 1st St.
WaKeeney, KS 67672

Phone: 785.743.2129
Email: judydiec@hotmail.com

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Located at WaKeeney’s east exit, the Super 8 offers the familiarity of a well-known hotel and easy access to Cedar Bluff just a few miles down the road  so you can be out in the field at first light.

Begin your day with a free 8-item SuperStart breakfast and coffee 24 hours a day. Enjoy the privacy of connecting to free WiFi in your room. They offer free WiFi, guest laundry services, free truck and RV parking, and non-smoking suites and accessible rooms. Ask about the plus suites for a “home-away-from-home” style stay.

709 S 13th St.
WaKeeney, KS 67672

Phone: 785.743.6442
Email: wakeeneysuper8@gmail.com

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EconoLodge is positioned right off I-70 at the west exit. It’s a great value, with free WiFi and ample truck parking available.

The Econolodge offers clean, comfortable rooms at a reasonable rate. All rooms feature a coffee maker and TV and some rooms also feature a refrigerator. They offer a free continental breakfast and have a well-lit, large parking lot.

702 South 2nd Street
WaKeeney, KS 67672

Phone: 785-743-5505
Email: gm.ks086@choicehotels.com

 

Get ready for the 2019-2020 hunting season by booking your stay in Trego County today!

The Screamin’ Eagles are Storming the Field for Homecoming 2019

Purple and gold are the colors of the week, as the Trego Eagles celebrate Homecoming 2019 in a game against the Rawlins County Buffalos this Friday, September 27 at 7pm. 

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Spirit Week

Each day this week a new event super charges the Trego Eagle spirit. The halls of TCHS are draped in purple and gold and on Thursday evening, September 26th, the Seniors will take their school spirit to Downtown WaKeeney for the annual tradition of painting the streets with victory slogans. The celebration continues later that night at the fairgrounds when TCHS students and supporters will cheer for their favorite football team around a bonfire.

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Join the TCHS Cheer Squad at 3pm on Friday, September 27th at the intersection of Main and Russell in Downtown WaKeeney for the annual pre-game pep rally. This is your chance to get up close to the players to wish them good luck and show your team spirit with your Trego Eagle team colors.

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The 2019 Homecoming Court.

The Big Game

The 2019 Homecoming ceremonies will begin at 6:30pm, where the crowning of the King and Queen of the court will be revealed. Immediately following at 7pm the Eagles will take to the field to prove the dominance of the Golden Eagles over the Buffalos. The Homecoming festivities will end on Saturday evening at the Homecoming Dance held in the TCHS Commons Area.   

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The TCHS Booster Club’s Hot Dog Feed

Enjoy the game with a free hot dog! The Screaming Eagle Booster Club will be handing out tickets to Trego Eagle fans for a free hot dog they can pick up at the concession stand. Come get your tailgate food for this important game.

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Show Your “EPIC”School Spirit

The “Trego Eagles EPIC” signs are here! Keep that school spirit going all year by purchasing a yard or window sign from the TJS Kay club. They are only $15 each and you can get them through the TGS office or call (785) 743-2472 or Stacie Minson at (785) 769-3297.

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Check the TCHS school calendar for more information on events coming up this fall and come out to Custer Field this Friday, September 27th to root on the TCHS Screamin’ Eagles!

 

 

Fall Tournaments are Teeing Up at Big Creek Golf Course

Grab your clubs and join us at Trego County’s Big Creek Golf Course for the final three tournaments of 2019!

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The summer is winding down, but our golfers are in full swing, and we’re ready to take on the rolling hills of Big Creek Golf Course during our end-of-season fall tournaments. Get your game on with fellow golfers and see who can come out on top at our 9-hole course.

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Big Creek Golf Course is a member of the Kansas Golf Association, and the 70-par course regularly hosts tournaments and events throughout the year. The buffalo grass fairways are comprised of rolling hills and lined with trees that end at watered greens. It features 3,213 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 35. The course is part of the Kansas Golf Association with a rating of 36.3. It includes several elevation changes to make it a more challenging course than a typical prairie track. Carts are available to rent and an on-site clubhouse offers a nice respite between the first nine holes and the second.

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Fall tournament dates are as follows and you can contact Doug Minson at (785) 432-2813 or Lance Ziegler at (743) 769-3089 for more information on how you can register your team.

Sept 15                  3 Person Scramble

Oct 6                      1 Man Scramble

Oct 20                    3 Person Scramble

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Come out anytime to our public course and spend some practice time at our large driving range & a putting green. The putting green and driving range are free to use, so even the littlest golfers can get into the game at Big Creek Golf Course!

 

 

 

The WaKeeney Water Park Goes to the Dogs

Nothing feels better than a dip in the pool on a hot summer day. Can you think of anyone who would enjoy that plunge more than our canine friends? Give your dog a treat and bring them to the “Bark at the Water Park” event at the WaKeeney Water Park on Saturday, August 24thfrom 10am to noon!

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 For dogs who love water there’s nothing better than that first splash. This is a “dogs only” event, with an entry fee of only $5 for each dog. Bring dogs who are ready to run and play with other pups and the water toys they love most.

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The WaKeeney Water Park is the perfect place for all dogs to play. Whether your dog is pint sized or super-sized, the zero-depth, beach-like entry area gives them a place to run and splash through shallow waters. Take them to the deep end so they can do those hilarious belly flops that are so fun to watch. They can play in the deck sprays, and the dump bucket will give them a big surprise as they play at its base. There is plenty of shady areas around the pool for their owners to sit and enjoy the show.

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The dog days of summer are here, and your four-legged friend deserves a chance to cool off. Bring them to the WaKeeney Water Park on August 24thfrom 10am to noon for the first ever “Bark at the Water Park” event. Keep an eye on the WaKeeney Water Park’s Facebook page for more information to come.

Classic Cars and Good Times at Mike’s Place’s “Cruise Nights”

Cruise on over to Mike’s Place the last Thursday of every month to relive the glory days of American automotive design during their monthly “Cruise Nights.”

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Each month, classic car enthusiasts park their masterpieces in front of Mike’s Place, WaKeeney’sgathering spot located in the historic Dreiling Hardware building on 6thStreet. During these special nights you might have a chance to see models that span the history of auto manufacturing, from Model T’s to 80’s muscle cars. Each month brings out different drivers who show up to show off their cars and talk about the journeys through the decades.

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The event runs from April thru September each last Thursday of the month. It is open to anyone who is interested in, or who owns a classic car. It is strictly a “come as you are” event where you never know which cars will be pulling up to the curb.

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After you’ve taken a look at the cars, come inside Mike’s Place for a drink and a plate of homecooked food. The cooks at Mike’s Place create delicious specials every day along with their regular menu. Get here early because their food is so good they often run out. (Check out their Facebookpage for the to see what we’re serving today!)

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A drink is waiting for you, too! Mike’s Place bartenders host a full bar with ice cold beer to keep you cooled off on these hot summer nights.

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There are only two more nights of classic cars left on the calendar this year, so don’t miss out on the show! Join us at Mike’s Place on Thursday, Aug 29 and Sept 26, from 5–9 pm for “Cruise Night!